March 15, 2023 was a big day for climate activism. In the morning at a meeting of Bay Area Air Quality Management Board, we joined Sierra Club, many doctors from SF Bay Physicians for Social Responsibility and others to speak out for phasing out polluting fossil-fuel-powered appliances. Many people also had written to the board members before the meeting. And we won! The BAAQMD board voted to approve the nation's first zero-nitrogen oxides (NOx) standard for furnaces and water heaters, which will effectively phase out the sale of new gas furnaces and water heaters, beginning in 2027. The rules will apply when a consumer replaces a burned-out appliance — no one would be required to remove working appliances.
In the afternoon, we went to City Hall for the Budget & Appropriations hearing on the CLEE report. Back in December, the Supervisors passed a non-binding resolution urging the Capital Planning Committee, now developing the City’s 10-year Capital Plan, to schedule climate bonds in the queue for the near future. As of the hearing, they had NOT done so. Such bonds are recommended by UC Berkeley’s Center for Law, Energy & Environment (CLEE), which analyzed funding and financing strategies to generate sufficient revenue for San Francisco’s Climate Action Plan (CAP) while advancing equity and ensuring smart implementation. At this informational hearing, we heard from SF Environment Department, the City Controllor, the Office of Resilience and Capital Planning, Supervisors on the Budget & Appropriations Committee,and writers of the CLEE report. We gave public comment - and many others had written to the policymakers before the meeting. You can STILL write to them to emphasize the urgency of funding the City's CAP until the end of March, by using our easy letter- writing tool.